Category Archives: Learning To Pray Effectively

Learning To Pray Effectively

God has a lot to say about prayer in the Bible. It is a very important two-way communication between God and His people. He wants to hear from us and wants us to hear from Him. God also wants us to selflessly pray for others, not just for ourselves.

Prayer is a topic that can and should be studied at great length by every believer. This teaching is longer than most that we provide. As such you may expect to go through it thoughtfully will take more than just a few minutes. Take it in pieces and come back to it if that helps, but get started even if you can’t finish it all at once.

For the purposes of this teaching as a starting point to lead you toward righteous prayer we highlight several scriptures regarding prayer but will only break down into greater detail the teaching of Jesus, Himself, regarding prayer in Matthew 6:5-14. It was in this way that Jesus began teaching His disciples how to pray.

To learn more about prayer, you can review our devotions on prayer by selecting the Category “Prayer” or consider other resources such as those recommended on our site at “Study The Word: Books and Other Study Tools“.

1 Timothy 2:1-8

1First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

8Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

Ephesians 6:18-20

18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Philippians 4:4-7

4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 5:23

23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Matthew 26:36-46

36Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46“Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

Matthew 6:5-14

5“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

7“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

9“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.

10‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

11‘Give us this day our daily bread.

12‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Please do not skip over verses 5-8. While these are not included in what we commonly refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Our Father”, they are critical points in teaching common mistakes that what we should not be doing. Do not pray for attention before men, but rather pray in secret for relationship with God. Do not use meaningless repetition… including just empty recitation of the prayer that Jesus shares in verses 9-13! This prayer is not a formula of specific words that must be recited, but rather an outline to help you focus your prayer in relating to God. It is meaningless to just memorize and repeat the words without truly dwelling on what they mean and how to relate to our God!

To explore this further, we will explore how to apply this outline for prayer with greater depth, so we draw near to God rather than repeat memorized words. (I am grateful to those who shared with me what I now share with you as I find it a very good application of the Lord’s Prayer.)

“Our Father who is in heaven,”

Respect and honor who God is. Take a few moments and be still before God. Contemplate the character of God:

  • The Great I Am
  • Creator of All
  • All Knowing (omniscient)
  • All Powerful (omnipotent)
  • Present In All Places At All Times (omnipresent)
  • Unchanging (immutable)
  • Eternal (without beginning or end)
  • Incapable of Making a Mistake (flawless)
  • Without limit or boundaries (infinite)
  • Holy (worthy of devotion as one perfect in goodness)
  • Just (behaving according to what is morally right and fair)
  • The Beginning and the End (Alpha and Omega)

In Ephesians 1:18-19 Paul prays “…that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

Reflect on the greatness of God’s power toward you as:

  • God the Father: Father, Provider, Shelter, Protector
  • God the Son: Righteousness, Holiness, Peace, Truth
  • God the Holy Spirit: Comforter, Counselor, Teacher, Guide

“Hallowed be Your name.”

God’s name is to be separated from the world. To do this, we must separate from the world and focus on God. Focus on the Old Testament names for God.

Consider, also, focusing on God through a worship song.

“Your kingdom come.”

God’s kingdom is where He has total rule and authority. It is a kingdom of righteousness based in free will. His servants choose willingly or even enthusiastically to obey Him.

This scripture represents submission to God to rule and control your life. You are asking God to make your character to transform to be more like His character to make the fruit you bear more like the fruit of Jesus’ life and ministry.

We must first pray “my kingdom go” before we can truly pray for God’s kingdom to come. Pray for God to take control of these areas of your life; release them into His hands.

  • My family
  • My future
  • My job
  • My finances
  • My ministry
  • My thought life

Write in your prayer journal any areas you feel like God is directing you to pray for specifically.

God’s character should be reflected in our character.

  • Compassionate
  • Gracious
  • Humble
  • Pure (in body and mind)
  • Merciful
  • Giving (in time and resources)
  • Slow to anger / Patient
  • Filled with love
  • Truthful
  • Forgiving
  • Kind
  • Faithful (to God)
  • Wise
  • Servant’s heart
  • Disciplined (self control)
  • Joyful
  • Holy (set apart from sin; set apart for God’s purpose)
  • Just (e.g. justice)

Periodically (e.g. once a week) pick one of God’s characteristics, starting with your weakest, and study its meaning completely including study of application in scriptures. This activity will renew your mind in that area and, in turn, transform your character to be more like God and our Lord Jesus Christ. After completing the list, start over again.

“Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”

This should be our personal acknowledgment of God’s will to be done in our lives in His timing and His way. Ask God what His will is for decisions that you need to make this week or later this year and then listen and wait for His answer.

Proverbs 3:5-7 guides us to”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”

Write in your journal decisions you have to make and answers from God. Expect Him to answer, and then test the answer you hear against the scripture to ensure you are hearing from God and not from your own sin nature or from Satan.

God’s answer may not come during prayer time. It may come later that day or even the next couple days. Often His answer is not what we expect.

Pray for upcoming events as you write them in your journal. They may include things such as government (federal, state, local), schools, Christian leaders or ministry / church staff, missionaries, pastors, and of course events personal to your own life or that of your family and friends.

Pray for God’s will to be done for any individuals or groups for whom you are responsible or for individual people for whom God puts on your heart a desire to pray.

Consider writing down a prayer strategy in your journal and refer back to it periodically.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

At this point, ask God to provide for your needs (e.g. home, family, finances, church, ministry, friends, etc.)

The body needs food to live, but the spirit also needs food to live. Jesus is our food because He is the Word. Ask Him to speak a word to your spirit. Consider reading a devotional from a book and/or a few verses from the Bible. Write down what stands out to you. Meditate on it and write in your journal an action plan for applying it to your life as you feel led by the spirit. (Meditation in the Christian walk is not emptying the mind and seeking nothingness as in some other faiths, but rather actively using our God-given minds to think about and apply the written word of God in our lives.)

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

This was so important to Jesus, that He came back to it in verses Matthew 6:14-15.

14“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Examine your heart and be completely honest with what you find because your Father knows anyway. Confess these things to God and ask forgiveness. Then turn from them and sin no more. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you and reveal any sins you are unaware of at this time. Confess these sins to God and again ask forgiveness, turn from them and sin no more.

If there is a particular sin that keeps recurring, create an action plan to address it. The plan should include prayer, focused Bible study, and possibly additional resources or partnering with an accountability partner with whom you can share your struggle honestly.

Pray that God would forgive, bless and be good to the people who you believe have mistreated you. The only way God will continue to forgive us is if we continue to forgive others. Hold no bitterness or resentment in your heart. Purge from your heart any desire for revenge.

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Ask God for protection. Ask Him to show you any snares of the enemy so that you might not be caught in them. This is where you must ponder your footsteps and consider where you are going or by whom something is coming. Write in your journal anything new that is coming into your life or anything that is already in your life that you do not have a peace about. Now, ask God if this is from Him or from the enemy or from our own internal sin nature. Test each situation against the word of God revealed in scripture. If something does not line up with the word, do not do it. If it lines up with the word, but you still can not get peace about it, seek advice from a mentor. Godly counsel can be very helpful.

“[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]”

Acknowledge God and all of His attributes. Realize that God is on the throne and He is in charge. Everything is under His control. Let this truth comfort you.

Thank God for being with you during your prayer time and thank Him that He will be with you all day, because He will… our Father loves us!

Praying meaningfully through the Lord’s prayer can easily grow to take thirty minutes or more. Do not try to rush it! If you do not have as much time, pick some of the areas to focus on in each part of the prayer and then rotate which areas you focus on from day to day. Whatever you do, please heed Jesus’ advice:

5“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

7“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

As individuals within a global Christian community we can ask our brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for us. To submit a prayer request, go to our Submit Prayer Request page.

We at Hearing From Jesus will pray for you when we receive these prayer requests. We also invite other members of our community to visit our site Pray for Others page and pray for the needs listed there.

For those of you in the body of Christ that have a calling to pray for others… the prayer warriors among us… you may even consider adding the Pray for Others page as a favorite to remind you to click in and pray for God’s people in their need.

To study more teachings about effective prayer, review our category of teachings about Learning to Pray Effectively.

May the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Enlighten the Eyes of My Heart

Let us approach our Lord with thanksgiving for fellow believers and for the wonderful gift of our own salvation by grace, through faith. Let us ask Him to enlighten the eyes of our hearts.

Ephesians 1

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

15For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

O My God, In You I Trust!

Psalm 25 is an inspiring prayer for protection, guidance, and pardon. Don’t just read it, but pray it before almighty God with a genuine heart.

1To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

2O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.

3Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

4Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.

5Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.

6Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.

7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.

8Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.

9He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.

10All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

11For Your name’s sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

12Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

13His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.

14The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.

15My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

16Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.

17The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.

18Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.

19Look upon my enemies, for they are many,
And they hate me with violent hatred.

20Guard my soul and deliver me;
Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.

21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.

22Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.

Share this prayer with others you care about!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Pray Humbly and Wholeheartedly for Personal Repentance

For those of us who wish to truly submit to Yeshua and follow him, we must be willing to humbly admit our faults in order to change them. Yeshua provides a wonderful example of a sinful man who genuinely comes before YHWH for repentance and contrasts that with someone who is praying in a noticeably prideful manner. I encourage each of us to thoughtfully and humbly read the scripture from Luke and then come before our father in genuine humility, admitting our sins, and ask for genuine forgiveness with wholehearted commitment to repent and sin no more.

Luke 18:9-14

9And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

All of us remain sinful, no matter where we are in our journey. Take time to identify an area in which you need change and come before YHWH with pure motive and pure heart, privately, and ask forgiveness and ask his help with repentance. Then work consciously to change your wrong behavior and he will help you. Avoid the trap of just asking forgiveness and then continuing in your sin, without repentance and change on your part. If you refuse to change, that is not true repentance and acknowledgment that you are wrong. There is a distinction between having difficulty changing and refusing to change or not trying. Often we will need his help to change our ways as it is difficult for us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Let Me Know Your Ways

Our prayers and conversations with YHWH do not have to be complicated. We do not get “bonus points” for large words. We do best when we simply set our hearts to trust in Him and talk with Him as we would a Father whom we love and respect.

For the full context of Exodus 33:13, click the link and read the full chapter. I am focusing on a particular verse for today’s consideration.

Exodus 33:13

13“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight.

What a wonderful and simple prayer from Moses. Let us not be afraid to ask the Lord for His help so that we may know His ways and know Him. Why? So we can be rich or happy? No. So we might find more favor in His sight. In our relationship with Him then we find peace and joy and hope.

When is the last time your prayer was focused on asking the Lord to help you know His ways and know Him more so as to find favor in His sight? If you consider the full context of the scripture you will also see that Moses was not just talking the whole time. He allowed time for the Lord to speak and for him to listen. A good way to invest our time for which most of us need more practice.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The LORD Is Approachable and Available To Those Who Walk With Him

Those who walk with the LORD can approach Him and ask for His council and guidance. He often answers in a very clear way. We can see that He is patient as David comes to Him multiple times because His men are afraid. David does not just ask once, but again when they hear of Saul coming as well. We can keep coming back to our Father. He is not tired of hearing from those who walk with Him. He is not too busy. He is a loving Father and councilor.

1 Samuel 23:1-14

David Delivers Keilah

     1Then they told David, saying, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors.” 2So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the LORD said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 3But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?” 4Then David inquired of the LORD once more. And the LORD answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.

      6Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars.” 8So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men. 9Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10Then David said, “O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account. 11“Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.” 12Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.” 13Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit. 14David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Speak, For Your Servant Is Listening

Samuel was a great prophet of the Lord. What can we learn from how he connected with the Lord when he was still a child?

  • He listened to the advice of one elder than himself, even though that person was far from perfect.
  • He responded to YHWH’s call with utmost simplicity… no complicated prayer needed. “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
  • Then… he did something amazing that most of us don’t do… he stopped talking to YHWH and started listening.
  • He shared the word that the Lord gave him even though he was scared to do so.

We should do likewise.

1 Samuel 3:1-14

The Prophetic Call to Samuel

     1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

      2It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, 4that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6The LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him. 8So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. 9And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

      10Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11The LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12“In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13“For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14“Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

      15So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” 17He said, “What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him.”

      19Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. 20All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. 21And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Create In Me A Clean Heart, O’ God

We are all sinners in need of grace and forgiveness. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord and repent and He will make us clean again.

Psalm 51

A Contrite Sinner’s Prayer for Pardon.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

     1Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.

3For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.

4Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

6Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

9Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

13Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

15O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.

16For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.

17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

18By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Prayer of Jabez

Almost buried in a section of historical family lineage in 1 Chronicles is a brief excerpt, limited to two verses, about a man named Jabez for whom God answered his prayer. Like so many parts of scripture, it is waiting for us to find it and explore the depths of God’s word, like buried treasure.

It is worthwhile to pause and reflect on these verses.

1 Chronicles:9-10

9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.

Quite some time ago, someone wrote a book about “the prayer of Jabez” and people got almost in a craze about it. The problem is that many focused on only his prayer. They wanted to turn it into some formula whereby if anyone repeats the words they force God to bless them also. However, this is not how a relationship with the Lord works. We don’t control Him. We don’t get His power by rehearsing specific words like some sort of spell.

Matthew 6:7-8

     7“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

The prayer of Jabez was an honorable prayer. He asked for God’s blessing and asked for God’s protection from harm. These are good things to pray for. Let us also take care not to overlook that he also asked for God’s hand to be with Him and he was honorable in his life.

Jabez was not simply asking for more land and less pain, but also for a relationship with God and living his life in accordance with what God directed.

The path to living with the peace and joy of the Lord is one of submitting to him and building relationship with him. You can not and should not try to skip the relationship with God in pursuit of controlling him to give you the outcomes you want. As you build relationship with him, you will also discover that the relationship is the real treasure… that his hand would be with us.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Thankfulness and Prayer For One Another

Colossians 1 contains a beautiful prayer that I would encourage us to pray for one another and for ourselves. There is no “magic” word or prayer, but this is a good example of a perspective of one believer who is close to YHWH having insight in how to pray for others who love YHWH also. It is not about the specific words, but rather the ideas behind them that help us focus on what is important.

Colossians 1:1-12

Thankfulness for Spiritual Attainments

     1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

      2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

      3We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; 7just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.

      9For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

Shalom (a Hebrew greeting or salutation meaning “peace”)

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.